Senior, Geography and Biology (also earning GIS certificate)
Under the direction of geography faculty mentor Richard Beck, PhD, and graduate student Andrew Rettig
What undergraduate research project are you working on?
Use of Geographic Information Networks (GIN) to monitor microcystis bloom events of Lake Erie. Essentially, with the guidance of my mentors, I designed an Open Geospatial Consortium standard methodology that automates updating in-situ imagery from a remote site (Lake Erie) to, at the end user’s command, a GeoBrowser, such as Google Earth. A compliment to GeoSensing technology.
Why did you opt to do undergraduate research?
I found both geography and biology to be great fields. However, I needed to see how they could complement one another. This research experience allowed me to see this. I also wanted to expose myself to different skills, job positions and scholars so that I could get a better idea of what I want to research in a graduate program, and ultimately choose a specific career. It was nice to see how skills gained in the classroom were applied to practical situations. Lastly, to be a graduate student was a mystery to me. Andrew set a great example of what takes to be a successful graduate student and respected professional in the field.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned?
Failures are part of the process in achieving a goal. In some ways, they are a sign of progress.
What advice would you give to other undergraduates thinking about getting involved in research?
You should consider it! You may not want to do research in the end, but the skills you could gain, opportunities that could unfold, and relationships that could be established will be priceless.
I will continue to work on a related project with a Dr. Beck, and hope to get accepted into a graduate program for Fall 2011.